Telephones and World Series

Cable guy. My phone rang Friday night.
“Hi, this is [I didn’t catch the name] from Charter, the cable company. How are you doing tonight?”

I knew I should have forked over the extra bucks for privacy guard. “I’d be a whole lot better if you’d take me off your calling list,” I said.

“You don’t even want to hear about our special offers?” he asked.

“Nope. I don’t watch TV,” I said.

He sounded disbelieving. “You don’t watch TV?”

“Nope.”

“You mean to tell me you haven’t watched one second of TV today?”

“Right.” I hadn’t. Actually I hadn’t watched one second of TV since I fell asleep during the playoffs and was rudely awakened by Frank Sinatra singing “New York” at high volume after the Yankees steamrolled the Mariners. Disgusted, I turned off the boob tube (that’s all it shows during the commercials) and went to bed.

“What are you doing now?” he asked.

“Getting ready to go out.”

“Oh, you’re going to a party or something?”

Close enough. “Yep.”

“Oh. Sorry to bother you, sir.” And he hung up.

This is the one time of year I do watch TV. That’s World Series time. Unless it’s Yankees-Braves, in which case I have more important things to do, like clean my toenails. My phone rang last night right after Curt Schilling plunked Derek Jeter. “That’s my phone,” I muttered to no one. “Don’t they know better than to bother me during the World Series?” No one answered. I picked up the phone. “Hello?”

Whoever it was must have wised up. There was no one there. Good thing. If it’d been the cable guy again, I’d have had to tell him it’s not worth $35 a month just to be able to watch seven baseball games with a clearer picture.

A few random World Series observations:

Yeah, I know Curt Schilling beat the Cards, and I wanted a Cardinals-Mariners series. Even still, he’s one cool guy. He doesn’t care who sees him praying just before each start, and he bought a ticket for his dad, who died in 1988 and never saw him pitch in the big leagues, for this game. Having lost my dad at a similar age, I empathize. And he’s just a class act. At the end of the game, as his teammates were coming off the field, he ran out to give them handshakes and hugs. Starting pitchers almost never do that. I have to root for him. Baseball needs more good men like Curt Schilling.

Baseball also desperately needs another commissioner like Bart Giamati. Is it just me, or is baseball commissioner Bud Selig the worst public speaker in the history of public speaking? It really bothered me that he had to refer to a script to present Barry Bonds with his worthless Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award or whatever it’s called. Selig’s speech could be summed up as, “Barry, you had a fantastic season, taking a record that once belonged to Babe Ruth, Roger Maris, and Mark McGwire, joining the ranks of three of the greatest sluggers of all time, while also having one of the greatest all-around offensive seasons of all time. It’s my pleasure to present you with this award, previously awarded to McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Cal Ripken and Tony Gwynn. Congratulations.” But it took him what seemed like several torturous hours to say that. What I just wrote isn’t particularly eloquent, but compared to Selig’s speech, it’s practically Shakespearean.

At any rate, I was happy to see Arizona win. I can’t root for the Yankees. Used to be the only team I disliked more than the Yankees was the Mets. But if the Mets were playing the Yankees, I’d have to root for the Mets just because they aren’t the Yankees. Yeah, I know, that sounds un-American this year. But two people I respect–one of whom I respect so much, his picture hangs in a frame in my living room, across from a picture of Abraham Lincoln–feel exactly the same way.

So here’s to Arizona. And to the American League, who next season will hopefully put the Yankees in their proper place.

Fifth.

2 thoughts on “Telephones and World Series

  • October 28, 2001 at 1:24 am
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    As a former Phoenician and current Houstonian, I’m pulling for the NL team also. I have rooted for both the Yankees and Braves in past series, but get tired of the same teams year after year. I appreciate Schilling also.

    I also note that, like Schilling, Randy Johnson has been known for a gesture to his late father. I don’t know if he still does it, but he used to make a gesture toward heaven at the end of a game, in honor of his dad. If I recall correctly, his dad died early in his big league career.

    I’ve been a fan of Johnson, and took my son to a start in Houston while he was here. I still enjoy his performances, even though he chose Phoenix over Houston.

    BTW, I’m now up to at least five x-Astros on the Dbacks. Early in Drayton McLane’s tenure as owner, he okayed big contracts for Greg Swindell and Doug Drabek. Both were pretty much a bust, though Drabek was pretty good for a while.

    I thought Schilling should have been taken out an inning sooner, but hopefully he’ll be ready for games 4 and 7 if needed.

  • October 28, 2001 at 4:20 pm
    Permalink

    Oh yeah, I totally agree. I might have even pulled him after 5. Let him get the win, save his arm for his next start. I suspect Brenly was trying to keep from burning up his bullpen. But sheesh, with a 9-1 lead, they could have had Jay Bell pitch an inning to save a pitcher.

    I don’t envy Brenly at all because he has arguably the two best pitchers in the NL but the rest of his staff is decidedly mediocre. It has to be hard to know what to do.

    I forgot about Swindell. I remember when people were comparing Swindell to a left-handed Roger Clemens. Never quite worked out that way.

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